One in three Native American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
I am one of them. My name is Ashley Haywood. I was born and raised in Lumberton, North Carolina and am a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. In 2008, I was crowned Miss Lumbee, and I obtained a job with the Tribe as a Housing Specialist shortly after that.
While employed by the Tribe, my boss, Reverend Jimmy Hunt, subjected me to sexual harassment and assault. He told me that I would lose my job if I didn’t submit to his advances. I was trapped between two choices: feeding my family and unemployment. I filed a grievance about the harassment with the Tribe, which prompted an investigation. Reverend Hunt left his position on his own before the investigation’s conclusion. But the Tribe later rehired him.
Recently, the Tribe fired me for filing my second grievance when it re-hired Reverend Hunt. Upon filing my grievance, I was suspended, and then terminated. I was retaliated against and terminated from a job that I was very passionate about because I stood up for my right to voice my opinion and protect myself and others from abuse.
Those acquainted with me witnessed the love that I had for my job. It allowed me to continue the types of charitable efforts I advanced as Miss Lumbee. I have always advocated for women and children, which is evidenced by programs that I initiated in my community. For example, I helped many single mothers obtain GEDs and attend college courses, planned a "Back to Bash" that raised over $2,000 for school supplies and book bags, and arranged for a medical bus to offer health screenings and free vaccinations. I also coordinated with a professional hairstylists that provided free haircuts to the children.
Native American women experience the highest rate of violence of any group in the United States. Researchers estimate that this number is actually much higher than has been captured by statistics--the Department of Justice estimates that over 70% of sexual assaults are never reported. One in every three Native American women are abused daily. The primary intent of Native American Women Against Abuse is to firmly address and promote the elimination of violence and other abuses against Native American women within our families and communities.
Please Support me, Ashley Haywood, and Native American women everywhere by taking action today!
1) Please "Like" our Facebook page and show your support for Ashley.
2) Please sign our petition in support of Ashley Haywood.
3) Also, If anyone has information or knowledge regarding sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct by Reverend Jimmy Hunt, please contact Van Kampen Law, PLLC at 704 247-3245.
Ashley Haywood started this petition with a single signature, and now has 73 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.